Bluelock Blog

5 Questions Every Leader Should Ask About the Disaster Recovery Plan

October 28, 2013 by Diana Nolting

Your company’s disaster recovery plan is the last thing you want to worry about when a disaster actually hits. As a business leader, it can be hard to know if you're asking the right questions to ensure your business is protected. 

Bluelock COO Martin Van Buren has nearly 25 years of technology leadership. Prior to joining Bluelock, Van Buren served as an executive leader at ITT Educational Services with roles including EVP & CIO as well as the SVP of the Learning Technologies group and was a senior manager at Deloitte. He understands the unique position leaders can be put in when they need to be assured their systems work, but might not be sure of the right questions to ask their CIO.

In order to facilitate a frank and fruitful discussion between the CIO and the CEO or Board of Directors, Van Buren recommends discussing the answers to these five questions:

1)   What is the economic risk if our core applications go down for one day, one week or even longer?

2)   How are our applications protected currently; are core applications protected differently from lower-ranking applications?

3)   What will happen to our key data in the event of a disaster?

4)   What types of disasters are we guarding against?

5)   What were the results of our latest full disaster recovery test?

“With technology, disruptions happen,” Van Buren explains. “When it comes to your revenue-generating applications you need to determine the value each application brings to the business in order to understand the length of disruption your business can tolerate.”

He goes on to explain that all businesses have applications that are more critical than others. Because it’s not feasible to recover everything at the same time at a cost-effective rate, your company needs to be able to rank-order what is most important to come back first, and what can withstand a longer downtime.

“The integrity of your data is the most important reason to protect your applications,” explains Van Buren.  “Make sure you understand if there’s a way for your team to recover data if a corruption occurs and understand where your data vulnerabilities exist.”

In addition to the applications, also consider the types of disasters from which you are protecting your environment. Different solutions protect against different types of events, so make sure your business understands what they are protected from today and where you have gaps.

“Finally, the most telling question you can ask your DR team is, “How did our last disaster recovery test go?’” explains Van Buren. “Ask how long it took to fully recover and how that aligned with their expectations as well as what they’ll focus on to improve for next time.” 

One of the biggest benefits of Recovery-as-a-Service is that it is easier and more affordable to test than traditional solutions. The ease of testing means you can prove that it actually works and your business can rely on it to protect them from extended downtime and loss of revenue. 

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